COMMON CHIHUAHUA CARE TIPS & MYTHS

The Tea Cup MYTH: 
I want a TEA CUP CHIHUAHUA please...
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TEA CUP CHIHUAHUA
THIS IS A FACT! NOT MY OPINION!
~~~EVERY Chihuahuas is classified as a Toy Breed ONLY~~~
If you are working with anyone who tells you otherwise, they are ignorant, uneducated and uniformed. 
A Tiny Chihuahua is JUST that....a TINY Chihuahua. 
There is no separate classification as TEA CUP CHIHUAHUA.

I like to POLITELY explain when people call requesting a 'Tea Cup' Chihuahua! 
There is no such classification as 'Tea Cup Chihuahua" There are only two classifications ~~ short or long coat variations ~~ 
Please don't call me asking for Tea Cup Chihuahuas...that is a term used by irresponsible breeders that care more about breeding for a TINY dog for BIG BUCKS than they care about the health of either the mom or the pups. "Tea Cups" are runts...plain and simple. TINY "Tea Cup" Chihuahuas should NOT be a breeders target size...due to health issues, injury and/or compromised vet care due to the frail size.No one can guarantee you the adult size of your Chihuahua puppy, until of course your puppy IS an adult. A growth/weight chart can be used to gauge or estimate how big or small a puppy may be, but that's just a tool to use as guide. Healthy Chihuahuas can range from 3 lbs to 9 lbs or even more. Weight is not the only factor of a healthy Chihuahua. Many other factors will affect your puppy's health including: type of food, exercise, general environmental conditions.

Molera (or Fontanel)
 Molera (or a soft spot) is a very common trait in Chihuahuas due to their dome "apple shaped" head. The presence of a Molera is a perfectly normal and can vary in presence and size.

Reverse Sneeze
This is fairly common in toy breeds, it is thought to be caused by an elongated soft palate that becomes temporarily misaligned. Though the short bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking sounds can seem a little scary, it is nothing to be concerned about and will last only a short time and stop on it's own. You can help stop the episode by getting the dog to breath through his mouth or swallowing. Usually this is brought on by getting overly excited or drinking too fast. This is not to be confused with another condition called collapsed trachea.


Hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar)

Tiny dogs, puppies in particular, do not have an adequate supply of internal fat to maintain a constant blood sugar level. Hypoglycemic episodes can happen in times of stress, illness, or going too long without food. Make sure your new puppy has food available at all times for the first few weeks and never leave the puppy alone for extended periods of time until he has fully adjusted to his new environment and is eating on a regular basis. Always keep honey or Karo syrup on hand in case of an emergency. 

The first signs of hypoglycemia are usually staggering, unsteadiness, weakness, lethargy. Can lead to unresponsiveness and seizures. This is an emergency and you must act quickly! Cover a fingertip in honey and get it into the dogs mouth, rub into gums and try to pry mouth open if he will not lap it up on his own. Once he gets the taste of it, he should start to lap on his own and come around fairly quickly. Make sure the pup starts eating adequately, you can offer plain yogurt, meat baby food or boiled chicken bits to induce an appetite. If pup is refusing all food, you must seek veterinary advice.


HELPFUL HINTS

Growing Pains:

Though not painful at all to the puppy, starting around 8 to 12 weeks of age, the new owner may wonder why his once erect eared fuzz ball is now looking patchy and flop eared. Some pups will have sparse or bald patches, one or both ears may flop or curl. The pup is going through a normal growing phase, he is shedding his puppy fur and will grow new hair quickly. His adult teeth are starting to come in and for some reason that seems to take the spirit out of their ears for awhile. All pups are different and this may last weeks to months but soon enough they will have a full coat and erect ears again. The only medical concern would be a rash on balding skin.

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Keep honey or Karo syrup on hand at all times, most likely you will never have to use it, but in the event of a hypoglycemic emergency it is a must have!

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If you plan to change to a different brand of dog food, do it gradually and wait until the puppy is settled in his new home for a week or more. Food and water should be available at all times including over night for awhile. Gradually work out a feeding schedule as the puppy grows.

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Decreased appetite- to help stimulate an appetite try a fingertip of honey, Karo syrup, or NutriCal gel. Meat baby food or boiled chicken.

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Diarrhea- clear liquids, fresh water, Pedialyte. Plain yogurt containing acidophilus will help to add good bacteria into the GI tract. Bland diet, rice with boiled chicken bits.

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All puppies need to be contained when not being supervised. A crate or playpen is a safe place. Crates work well for helping with potty training also, as the puppy will not want to go to the bathroom where he sleeps. Just remember he can't hold it very long and must be taken out to relieve himself often. The crate should not be used as punishment, most dogs consider that their den and feel safe there. There must be adequate room for food and water during the first few months.

Chihuahuas love children. Children must be taught to handle them with care, being dropped or stepped on could cause injuries. With supervision and gentle care, a chihuahua will do wonderful with children. With young children a 6 pound dog would be a better choice than a tiny one.



COMMON PARASITIC INFECTIONS

Coccida: 

(opportunistic protozoa)

Coccidia lives in the bowels of all dogs. Something has to weaken the immune system for the protozoa to have the opportunity to multiply and cause problems. Usually this is brought on by stress of some sort. The first signs are usually decreased appetite and loose, foul smelling stool that may contain bloody mucous. This can escalate into a bout of hypoglycemia. If your puppy shows signs of this, immediately seek veterinary advice. A daily supply of plain yogurt containg acidophilus can prevent coccidia from multiplying by keeping a balance of good bacteria in the GI tract.


Giardia:

(zoonotic protozoa)

Giardiasis is an extremely common infection caused by the intestinal protozoa giardia that affects the digestive system of humans and many animals including dogs and cats worldwide. Dogs become infected by ingesting the giardia cysts. How can dogs come in contact with the cysts? One way is from the environment. For example, if a dog drinks contaminated water with infected animal feces in which the cyst form of giardia resides, the dog will become infected. Sources of contaminated water include ponds, streams, puddles, etc. Giardia cysts may also exist in soil and grass where an infected animal has gone to the bathroom. Giardia cysts are extremely hardy - they can survive for weeks in the environment provided that it is damp and not too hot. Click on the following link for more info. Symptons Diagnosis Treatment and Causes of Giardia in Dogs